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VOLLEYBALL WRAPS UP 10-MATCH ROAD TRIP THIS WEEK

VOLLEYBALL WRAPS UP 10-MATCH ROAD TRIP THIS WEEK

Complete Game Notes (22 pages) - pdf
Big Sky Conference standings

The Week Ahead

• Sacramento State wraps up a stretch of 10 straight matches away from home this week when the Hornets compete in the Borderland Invitational on Friday and Saturday.
• The Hornets (4-3), who are coming off a road sweep of CSU Bakersfield on Tuesday, are currently 2-2 on neutral floors and 2-1 when playing on an opponent's home court.
• As part of the two-day tournament, Sacramento State will play a pair of matches on Friday in Las Cruces, N.M., against New Mexico State (12 p.m. PDT) and Arizona (4 p.m. PDT). The Hornets will then play Saturday at UTEP in El Paso, Texas, at 5:30 p.m. PDT.
• The four teams at the tournament have combined for a 14-13 record this season, including New Mexico State (5-2), Sacramento State (4-3), Arizona (3-3) and UTEP (2-5). Arizona is currently receiving votes in the AVCA top 25 poll.
• Sacramento State has played the last four matches without the services of starting rightside hitter Madeline Cannon, who is questionable to play this weekend.
• The Hornets currently rank among the nation's top 25 teams in the nation in digs (20th; 17.46 per set), kills (21st; 14.42 per set) and assists (24th; 13.50 per set).
• The Hornets will finally play their first home match next week when the team hosts UC Davis on Tuesday, followed by the two-day, four-team Sacramento State Invitational on Sept. 16-17.

This Week's Multimedia Options

• No video is being offered for either of the Hornets' matches on Friday, but the team's match at New Mexico State at noon will be broadcast live via audio stream. Live stats will be provided for both.
• Video is being offered for a fee for the Hornets' matchup at UTEP on Saturday.
• Multimedia options (video, live stats, audio, etc.) can be accessed to the right of each match on the volleyball schedule at www.hornetsports.com.
• Free live video in HD will be offered for every home match this season via www.WatchBigSky.com. In addition, free video will be offered for every road match played in a Big Sky Conference venue.

Among The Nation's Leaders In Three Categories

• Sacramento State currently ranks among the nation's leaders in three important categories, including 20th in digs per set (17.46), 21st in kills per set (14.42) and 24th in assists per set (13.50).
• Through seven matches, the Hornets are averaging 8.9 more kills per match than their opponent and 5.3 more digs.
• That includes four matches already this season with at least 64 kills, and two matches with more than 80 digs.
• After finishing 17th in the nation last year in assists per set (11.39), setter Kennedy Kurtz is currently 11th in the country this season with 11.77 per set.

Coming Off A 26-Win Season

• Last year, Sacramento State posted a 26-7 overall record, a 12-4 mark in the Big Sky, an 11-1 record at home, 8-5 on the road and 7-1 on neutral floors.
• The Hornets were taken to five sets just twice all year, had an 18-win improvement from the previous season, recorded a 12-match winning streak, never lost more than two matches in a row, and finished 78th out of 334 Div. I teams in the NCAA's final RPI report.
• The Hornets welcome back 13 players from last year, including four starters and the team's libero. The team, however, has to compensate for the losses of outside hitters Lauren Kissell and Sloan Lovett, who ranked fourth and sixth, respectively, in the Big Sky in kills per set.

Dietrich On A Torrid Pace

• Senior middle blocker Courtney Dietrich has hit better than .350 in all seven matches this season, and leads the team and ranks second in the Big Sky with a massive .475 hitting percentage.
• If she had enough attacks to qualify (min. 3.3 per set; she is currently at 3.2 per set), that .475 hitting percentage would rank as the sixth best mark in the nation.
• Dating back to last year, Dietrich has now hit better than .350 in 10 straight matches. That includes a stretch last season in which she hit .833 (15-0-18) over her final three contests before suffering a knee injury which forced her to miss the last seven matches.
• During that 10-match run, she is hitting a robust .541 with 58 kills and just five errors in 98 swings.

Four Outside Hitters Averaging 3+ Kills Per Set

• Sacramento State has received very good production from its outside hitters thus far, as four players who have played the position are averaging at least 3.00 kills per set.
Shannon Boyle (4.21), Morgan Stanley (3.32), Madeline Cannon (3.08) and Mikaela Nocetti (3.00) have all played on either the left or right side this year.
• Boyle and Stanley began the year as outside hitters while Cannon played the right side. Cannon, however, has missed the last four matches with injury, shifting Stanley to the right side and inserting Nocetti into the outside hitter rotation.
• Boyle (3rd), Stanley (8th) and Nocetti (10th) all rank among the Big Sky's top 10 in kills per set. Cannon has not played enough matches to qualify or she would be in there as well.

Hornet Notables

• Sophomore middle blocker Brie Gathright has set her career high with eight kills in each of the last two matches, and is averaging 2.29 kills per set and a .387 hitting percentage over that span.
• Libero Lexie Skalbeck, who has seen her digs per set average increase all four years of her career, is currently tied for second in the Big Sky with an average of 4.92 digs per set.
• Outside hitter Morgan Stanley remains on pace to reach the 1,000 kills/1,000 digs milestone and currently has 882 career kills and 785 digs.
• The Hornets are 4-0 when limiting the opposition to a hitting percentage below .210, and 0-3 when an opponent hits better than the .210 mark.
• Dating back to the start of last year, the Hornets have played in just three five-set matches (2-1).